View south along George Street. Source: City of Sydney.
  • City of Sydney Council has approved an amended proposal for redevelopment of Waterloo estate south
  • New proposal aims to provide more affordable housing and a greener design
  • New proposal will be presented to the community in a public exhibition

The City of Sydney Council has unanimously approved the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) proposal for redevelopment at Waterloo estate south.

The 12-hectare estate (around 65% of the total Waterloo estate) currently includes 749 social housing units, 120 private units and houses, and some commercial properties.

But given the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19, the demand for social and affordable housing has never been higher, which is why the council argues it’s essential their amended plan (which includes more social housing) is designed and constructed to the highest standards.

First proposed in May 2020, the City of Sydney made some important amendments to the original request from the LAHC.

The new proposal aims to provide a safer and more accessible greener design, new buildings, streets, and parks, and a mix of private and social housing.

More specifically, key suggested changes to the proposal included:

  • Mandated minimum of 30% social housing and 20% affordable housing in perpetuity (particularly more housing for Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people).
  • Repositioning tall towers at the southern edge of the estate to minimise overshadowing of apartments.
  • More access to sunlight and wider streets.
  • Design to limit wind impact.
  • Measures to promote sustainable building design.
  • A large park near Waterloo metro station over two hectares in size.

The planning proposal allows for around 3,000 dwellings overall.

Source: City of Sydney.

Peter John Cantrill, the City’s urban design program manager, said the City of Sydney proposal comes after it assessed state government plans to build nine towers, 20 to 30 storeys in height, which would have lead to poor outcomes for residents.

“We believe the changes we have made will lead to a better living environment for residents, without reducing the number of homes built.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the public exhibition is a significant milestone for the project, which has been the subject of extensive discussion and community concern since the NSW Government first began developing plans to redevelop the housing estate in 2011.

“Throughout this long and complex process, the City has listened to and advocated for good outcomes for the Waterloo community.

“Our emphasis has always been on increasing the amount of social and affordable housing as part of the redevelopment, ensuring high quality streets and public spaces, maximising access to sunlight, and delivering sustainable and accessible buildings.”

The City will now send the amended planning controls to the Minister for Gateway Determination and guarantees around infrastructure to service the new development.

The updated proposal will also be presented to the community for a 60-day exhibition for public feedback before the plans are approved.

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